As many of you know in Minnesota we have the opportunity to vote on the Marriage Amendment. We also have to vote on the voter ID amendment which I will explain in another post.
These topics are important to me because I feel that people are confused about which box they should check. A few days ago I spoke with a person who told me that she had a conversation with a few close friends who did not understand what this whole Vote No or Vote Yes thing was. They knew how they felt about the issue, but do I vote yes, or no? And why am I voting on this?
I understand. It is complicated. The reason why you might not have had to vote on an amendment before is because our legislators are supposed to do that. We don’t usually vote on amendments to our constitution. But, below is a guide to help you choose what way you want to vote on the Marriage Amendment.
Afterwards, you need to get out there and talk to everyone you know. After reading this summary you can help them understand what it means to vote a certain way.
What exactly is an amendment to our constitution? Well, an amendment is a change. Those who want you to vote yes, want to change the constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Those who want you to Vote No, simply want to keep the constitution the way it is.
Well then are we going to have gay marriage? Do we have gay marriage now? No. So, by voting no you do not legalize gay marriage you only do not change the wording in the constitution.
So what are you saying… everything stays the same? Yes, it does. The only thing that would change is that we would be the first state to not let an amendment like this pass.
Why would people Vote Yes? Some people are voting yes because of religious reasons. They believe being gay is a sin. They want marriage to only be available legally between a man and a woman.
Others think that a family has to have opposite sex parents. They worry about the children growing up in an environment with two parents of the same-sex. And sometimes even having the model of the same-sex parents family is threatening to the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.
Others do not want same-sex couples to get the same protections under law such as filing taxes jointly because they are worried that it might be abused. That people may not be in a committed relationship and only are legally marrying for some type of gain.
Why would people Vote No? Firstly, many people who are voting no are religious, they just do not believe in changing the constitution. They think government is already big enough and does not need to regulate anything else. They also believe that the consitution is usually only changed to give people more freedom rather than limiting the freedom for one group of people.
Other religious people believe that they should be accepting and welcoming to all people. They do not believe their God would create a gay person and then condemn them. They believe that they are not the one who should judge.
Some believe that this is a step too far in mixing church with state. That in churches gay people should not be able to marry but that the government can choose how to define marriage outside of the church.
Secondly, they may be Voting No because they believe that people have the right to marry whomever they choose same-sex or opposite sex and have the same protection under the law. This means that you can file your taxes together, visit them in the hospital if they become ill, make medical decisions for their partner, and many other protections that married couples get.
Some young people are voting this way because they feel if they have a child in the future that is gay, they want to be on the side that did not prevent their child from being able to marry.
Thirdly, they may be Voting No because they feel that it is discrimination. Many equate it to interracial marriage or segregation.
What are some of the rumors from the debate? Some believe that this was a plot by the republicans to get Christians out to vote. But, this is just a rumor. We already have high voter rates and this rumor has been disputed by both sides.
What does mplsgossipgirl think? I am disclosing that I am firmly Voting No. There are many reasons why including those I listed. But, most importantly I have people in my life who are GLBTQ and they should have the same protections as I have under the law. Even though this amendment does not give my friends those protections it is a step in the right direction.
I also firmly believe that it is wrong for churches to tell their members how to vote and using their funds to influence the vote. I wish they would focus their funds on those who need help, the homeless, the needy, and those who need a hand.
But, I still believe that everyone should know the facts. That is why I put information in here on both sides of the issue.
If after reading this you still don’t know how you want to vote. I would go the MPR News site. HERE. They really do a good job of laying out the arguments impartially.
If you have another arguement that I did not list here. Please leave me a comment because I would love to hear what you think.
Otherwise if you now can help explain this to someone else, get out there, have a conversation and help someone understand their vote.
because voting is your civic duty.